Aluminium hardtails – still relevant?

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  • Aluminium hardtails – still relevant?
  • aw
    Member

    don’t forget the Cove Stiffee…only alu HT I would buy πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Plenty of very good racy and ‘hardcore’ alu hardtails out there still.

    I’ve got a Focus alu hardtail. Very jey, very stiff, very light, but great fun. Love the quick response when stamping on the pedals and the fast steering because if the steep angles, makes me consider lines are a bit more.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Definitely, I’d always prefer aluminium as far as metal HTs go – just like the stiff-as-a-board ride. You get some stylish steel HTs from the smaller outfits, but I’d still go for Alu given the choice – Something like a Cannondale CAAD5 HT would be a classic frame for me.

    Only thing is, I’ve never ridden a carbon HT, so maybe they’re better. My next new bike will be carbon I reckon, so I can see what it’s all about.

    Premier Icon househusband
    Subscriber

    I know what you mean, there has been a bit of a resurgance for steel frames over the past few years. Perhaps alloy is considered a bit too commonplace, and steel more niche – but then I’ve just bought an alloy hardtail frame! Suspect that CF is considered more de rigeur for race hardtails.

    nigew
    Member

    Another vote for The Stiffee,
    hard to put into words as to why its so good, just try one if you get chance!

    lardman
    Member

    eat as many pies as i have, and a steel bike is merely a jelly twister disco dancer of a ride.

    Ali… still the way for me.

    Premier Icon Driller
    Subscriber

    ‘Most People’? As in who? You must mean most of the people you know.

    Ride a Chameleon and then you’ll know why people still want an aluminium hardtail. If you look in the dictionary it’s just next to the word FUN!

    Premier Icon mAx_hEadSet
    Subscriber

    two stiffees here, aint the mrs a lucky girl πŸ˜‰ amaze me and every one who borrows one to sit on how cove do it… just put the summer fat tyres on and always amazed how better it handles with the widest rubber u can slide between its legs.. oohh err .. mods dont ban me

    clubber
    Member

    I’d still happily have a Pace if they did one big enough ie xl. Good Alu frames now don’t really fit the harsh stereotype.

    Premier Icon househusband
    Subscriber

    Reckon that Brant’s new alloy Hmmbap is gonne give the Stiffee a run for its money…

    GW
    Member

    WTFs an agressive hardtail?

    I’d always choose Alloy for a hardtail..
    I’ve never seen anyone but mincers ride a Cove Stiffee and they generally seem to be gate like in proportion too do Cove make a folding step ladder to get on?… can you even get wee ones?

    Im not too keen on Alloy hardtails after snapping a couple at the head tube. I guess if you get one thats constructed properly then this wouldnt happen.

    However, I’ve also cracked a couple of DMR’s, but the fact is they just cracked rather than snapped clean in half, unlike the aluminium ones

    I prefer steel cos it seems to provide a bit of trail dampening, went out on the road on my bros stumpjumper m4 tonight and it felt harsh, and thats on a fairly smooth surface.

    RepacK
    Member

    Loads of great alloy HT’s out there: Santa Cruz, Pace, Whyte, Orange..Its a long list….

    loddrik
    Member

    As most people looking for a ‘racy’ hardtail these days is looking for carbon or maybe Ti, and so called ‘aggressive’ hardtails, in general, tend to be steel or Ti, do people still covet aluminium hardtails anymore?

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    Absolutely, if they fit the bill.

    compositepro
    Member

    i think aluminium might make a massive comeback

    I ride an Aluminium Norco BigFoot HT and am still mighty happy with it, I’d say there are pro’s and con’s to either Alu Steel frames though.

    rolfharris
    Member

    95% of mtbs we sell in our shop are aluminium hardtails. The average cyclist is not as willing as most STW users to spend over 1k on a bike. 2nd behind that, oddly, is alu/carbon allied frames. Seems people want the low cost and the advantages. I ride steel ones myself, and a steel road bike, but that’s out of personal choice and it’s still the minority decision.

    avdave2
    Member

    It would probably be much better to be able to test ride bikes without knowing what it was made of. Must be a massive placebo effect. I’d really like a Whyte 19 trail but for no good reason having never ridden either version really want the Ti version.

    Premier Icon mAx_hEadSet
    Subscriber

    I’d suspect GW needs sort himself out , if you have only found mincers with gate size Coves whilst our riding, it’s said birds of a feather…. you might want to ride elsewhere a bit more often

    I’ve had steel and alu hard tails and ridden more Ti and C fibre than a busy stick might be shaked at. I have found that when asked buy riders to recommend bikes Rolf Harris has produced as ever a fairly accurate sketch of what you see through the bike shop window.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Of all the hardtails i’ve owned: 853, cromo, Ti whatever, the Ali Chameleon is still far and a way the best one I’ve ridden.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    If you want a burly frame that’s going to be light enough to be fun and flickable, without costing a kidney, alu is the way to go. And for a given weight, alu seems to be a lot more resistant to denting and crumpling than steel. If anyone out there’s dented the top or down tube of a Stiffee I take my hat off to them. Notwithstanding the fact that they’re only ridden by mincers of course. πŸ™‚

    GW
    Member

    Where should I ride mAx?

    or to rephrase it, where exactly is best to find these mediocre slack alloy XC Hardtails with sky high BBs being ridden by all the rad to the power of sick owners?

    alpin
    Member

    ya nan’s garden.

    GW
    Member

    alpin – she died 15 years ago, not too sure the present owners would understand if I were to start carving turns and and hucking off their flowerbeds – could become pretty Gnarly if I get caught tho.

    *But at least I now understand what the high BBs for – pedalling like **** through roses while being chased out folks gardens. πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    Normal bikes are made of aluminium.

    Although the OP did ask whether people “covet” them. That’s a different (and fair) question. Personally, I have just splurged on a Pace, which seemed to be a sane balance of cost, gnarl and weight.

    franki
    Member

    Love my Stiffee, or will do again, when it’s got some new forks in it. πŸ˜€

    Must shamefacedly admit it’s mainly ridden in a mincing xc fashion ;o), but having cracked other frames, I bought it thinking that it could probably handle far more abuse than I could dish out.

    It does encourage the hooligan element in me, however small!

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Don’t think the BB of a Stiffee is that high in the grand scheme of things. Certainly not compared to most “freeride” full sussers.

    Dibbs
    Member

    I’d really like a Whyte 19 trail but for no good reason having never ridden either version really want the Ti version.

    I’ve got three 19’s one alloy, one with carbon seat stays and a Ti, they’re all slightly different but I’m not sure I’m sensitive enough that I’d be able to tell the difference between them if I was riding blindfolded (apart from the fact one has gears) πŸ˜‰

    GW
    Member

    Mr agreeable – how is that relevant?

    Premier Icon brant
    Subscriber

    I am pretty sure I could blind test tell between my 3 Ragleys – one ti, one alloy, one steel.

    I specced each one to be quite specificly tuned to the material – I wasn’t trying to make a stiff ti bike, or a particularly springy alloy one.

    Struggling a bit as to which one I like best though!

    Dibbs
    Member

    Anyway, if I was blindfolded I’m sure I’d fall off long before I’d had a chance to decide which bike was which πŸ˜†

    avdave2
    Member

    brant I would hope you could tell the difference otherwise you’ve wasted an awful lot of R&D time and money. πŸ™‚

    It would be interesting though to try riding the different models and experience that difference without knowing which was which in advance. Totally impractical I know as really you would have to believe that all the bikes were made from the same material for it to be a worthwhile test.

    So Dibbs should I just set my sights on the alloy 19?

    Joxster
    Member

    shortbread_fanylion – Member

    I’ve got a Focus alu hardtail. Very jey, very stiff, very light, but great fun.

    Is this Jey?

    PJ266
    Member

    GW – Come to Aberystwyth, I’ll show you how a stiffee’s supposed to be ridden (ooerr πŸ˜‰ )

    ourkidsam
    Member

    is this jey?

    very

    mike_p
    Member

    I have an AL-alloy Whyte 19 and an S-Works M5 hardtail, both absolutely sensational in the their own special ways.

    Can’t see the point of having a carbon frame if it’s going to get bashed about on a regular basis.

    I’d dearly like something in Ti though… one day!

    richc
    Member

    This looks like the least jey Al frame i’ve seen in a while

    my back aches just looking at it.

    Olly
    Member

    ide go with a Maxlite 120 i think personally.

    Or a stiffee FR (neowm)

    in the real world, off STW, youll probably find they are quite common, its just people around here these parts arnt happy if its not either “real steel springyness” (read: old hat) or worth a small fortune ti/carbon/bamboo/jelly composite.

    Best value, tough as tits, get Alu πŸ™‚ (IM personal O)

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